Blooming in the fall?!
An Often Overlooked Fall Color
One of my favorite things about the fall season are the flowers of our native Witchhazel. If you look carefully you may still be fortunate enough to see them. On the cold grey days of fall, when other plants have lost their color, our native Witchhazel bursts into a show of yellow flowers brightening up the landscape around them.
Common Witchhazel, Hamamelis virginiana, is a native small wide spreading tree (or large shrub) native to central Ohio and much of the midwest and eastern United States. It grows naturally on dry woodland slopes, in moist woods and along the banks of streams. It has a high tolerance to shade and clay soils making it a useful plant for the urban landscape. Witchhazel can be used as a focal point, shrub border, or for the wildlife garden as it provides food for birds, honeybees and the spring azure butterfly (the juvenile form feeds on the foliage).
Witchhazel will often go unnoticed by most folks until mid October when it produces its fragrant yellow strap like flowers. The flowers will normally last 4 - 6 weeks fading by December. This week, I’ve observed Witchhazel still in peak flower in client’s yards and in parks and woods around central Ohio. There is nice stand at Jeffrey Park in Bexley just North of the tennis courts I recommend checking out.
If you’ve been looking for a small tree to add to your property - consider the Common Witchhazel.
Side note: Vernal Witchhazel, Hamamelis vernalis is a native Witch Hazel of Southern Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana that flowers late winter/early spring. The nursery industry has made this plant commercially available as well as two Asian species, Hamamelis japonica and Hamamelis mollis. There are also dozens of cultivated varieties and hybrids of these species so you or someone you know may have Witchhazel that flowers at a different time or in a different color.
TJ Nagel | Regional Manager, Russell Tree Experts
ISA Certified Arborist® OH-6298A // Graduated from The Ohio State University in 2012, Earned B.S. in Agriculture with a major in Landscape Horticulture and minor in Entomology // Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) // Russell Tree Experts Arborist Since 2010